Cyber-security is more important than ever

(Former FBI Agent and Author of “Cybersecurity Secrets”, Scott Augenbaum, left, standing next to myself, founder of Nalini-Global, Randell Stroud.)  

 

The internet is becoming an ever-growing force in our lives as technology rapidly expands into our everyday interactions. Apps, cell-phones, robotic automation, and wifi connections are all becoming staples in how we communicate and engage each-other on  a global scale. These technologies make life easier, cost-effective, and more accessible in regards to communication than ever before.  Even the poorest among us can utilize internet access with a simple library card or a low-cost data managed ISP. (Internet Service Provider).

However,  with this rise in technology and convenience, also comes new opportunities for amateur and career-criminals  alike to engage in scamming and/or hacking activities. Many people are aware that downloading pirated entertainment and watching adult pornographic materials are notorious for destroying cell-phones and computers around the world. Their enticing nature attracts all classes of people to consume this type of  “guilty-pleasure”. Alas, you may not be aware that there are many other less obvious ways that scammers, viruses, and hackers invade our lives.

One such scam involves creating fake facebook, twitter, and internet pages used to mimic official pages.  If you were to be sent an e-mail from a bank that had the same name as yours containing a web-link that brought you to a page which appeared official but was indeed a fake, could you spot the difference?  That Facebook friend that you have been talking to for months, have you ever tried to video-chat with them? How do you know it’s a real person? That phone call you got from the IRS claiming you owed them 15K in back taxes and is threatening you with jail time, is it a real call, or a fake?

Many of us, especially the elderly and those who aren’t tech savvy, are especially vulnerable, but even experienced tech users can fall victim to cyber attacks. Do you travel alot? Chinese hackers have been known to target foreigners in airports by phishing their IP addresses through public Wifi connections. “When traveling, consider using a VPN.”  (A technique used to hide your IP address), says Augenbaum.

Data is being shared at an astronomical rate these days. Everywhere we go on the internet, websites and apps are constantly asking for access to our GPS location, contacts, and so on. Ever wonder how programs like TLO and Spokeo get our personal information which can be bought publicly for mere dollars?  It’s most likely because you agreed to it! In other cases, such as the Equifax  data- breach that occurred a few years, are a result of hacking.  Alternatives to Google search engines such as “Duck-Duck-Go”, are becoming more popular as internet users are becoming more aware of privacy concerns.

Mr. Augenbaum gives great advice in his book on how to protect yourself from such attacks.  Creating complex passwords, using VPN, managing internet activity by scrutinizing suspicious links, and safe storage of passwords are just a few ways people can protect themselves from attack. Once your bank account is hacked or your SSN is stolen, havoc can be wreaked upon your life.  The internet is a fun place to share idea, learn knowledge, and to entertain ourselves in moments of boredom. Yet, it can also be a scary place full of enticing sinful behaviors and predators of all sorts.

I would highly recommend his book to anyone who is looking to create a safer environment for themselves when distributing data and personal information.  His book can be purchased by clicking the link below:

 

 

Cannabidiol Discussed in International Drug Scheduling Convention on Psychotropic Substances

To:  ecddsecretariat@who.int

The Secretariat of the World Health Organization

From: Naliniglobal@yahoo.com

Nalini-Global, Founder, Randell Stroud- International Human Rights Organization

RE: International Drug Scheduling Convention on Psychotropic Substances

The United States , as well as the international community, will be participating in a global study to potentially reschedule a host of illegal and/or regulated substances including Ketamine, Carfentanil. CBD (cannabidiol) and various other narcotics. Nalini-Global has submitted an official comment to the convention and  will also be submitting this article to the secretariat of the World Health Organization as secondary material to be referenced at the later stages of the study.

The study is known as the “International Drug Scheduling Convention on Psychotropic Substances”  and is being overseen by the World Health Organization.

An official notice by the FDA was released regarding the convention and its procedures: (Read as follows)

“The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is requesting interested persons to submit comments concerning abuse potential, actual abuse, medical usefulness, trafficking, and impact of scheduling changes on availability for medical use of 17 drug substances. These comments will be considered in preparing a response from the United States to the World Health Organization (WHO) regarding the abuse liability and diversion of these drugs. WHO will use this information to consider whether to recommend that certain international restrictions be placed on these drugs. This notice requesting comments is required by the Controlled Substances Act (the CSA).”

As you can tell from the notice, the FDA as well as the World Health Organization, are inviting persons of interests as well as international organizations, to be involved in the discussion of rescheduling certain “drugs” or having certain ones completely removed from scheduling.  We here at Nalini-Global have decided to throw our hats into the discussion and submit an official comment to be reviewed during the convention which is set to be discussed after the deadline for submitting comments has passed. (September 13th, 2017)  Each member state must provide an official response to the secretariat of the World Health Organization by September 30th,2017.

Upon first glance, many readers might say, “Drugs are bad! There is no discussion to be had!”.  However, many countries have decriminalized all drugs or have put more focus into “harm reduction strategies”. Countries like Portugal and Switzerland, treat drug addiction as a medical problem, not as a criminal one. ( Mind you, “decriminalization”  and “legalization” are not the same thing.  )

In the scope of this convention,  various substances are being looked at to see whether or not they have any medical value and/or whether or not these substances should be reclassified or possibly completely removed from the drug “schedules”.  What are “schedules”? Drug schedules are essentially a chart that labels certain substances in levels of potential danger from use.  There are Five Schedules. Schedule I drugs include, cocaine, heroine, LSD, Marijuana(including CBD products), Peyote, Ecstasy, and a few others. According to the Schedule I guidelines created by the FDA, Schedule I drugs are considered “highly addictive” and pose a potential for abuse.

Schedule V drugs are known as “controlled substances”, usually over the counter drugs such as codeine or Robitussin.   (Read more about Drug Schedules here)

Currently, the United States of America has the largest prison population in the world, more than Russia or China combined. Over 70% of American inmates are incarcerated on drug related charges. This prison industrial complex creates economic barriers and deep scars on those effected. While it is Nalini-Global’s position that all drugs should be decriminalized in a way that is similar to what Portugal and Switzerland have implemented, we have decided to focus on “Cannabis”, specifically “Cannabidiol”  also known as “CBD”.

While some argue the benefits of psychedelics such as Peyote, LSD, and other substances, pushing for decriminalization in the United States appears to be a far-cry in the midst of America’s 30 year long, “War on Drugs”.  Alas, pushing for the legalization and/or decriminalization of Cannabis, specifically CBD, makes alot more sense.  Hence, why so many comments submitted towards this convention have specifically requested that CBD be removed from the schedules completely.

While some may argue that marijuana is dangerous because of its intoxicating effects and should remain illegal (except for under the supervision of a doctor for medical purposes), such arguments cannot logically be made towards CBD.  CBD is one of the cannabanoids found in Cannabis and its related plant, “Hemp”. CBD is non-intoxicating and acts on “CB2” receptors in the body, while THC (the intoxicating compound found in marijuana) , mainly acts on “CB1” receptors in the body.  These receptors influence pain, inflammation responses, mood, sleep patterns, and other functions in the body.

That’s right! The human body is actually built with cannabanoid receptors, as if nature intended for this plant to be consumed.  Most Marijuana strains are bred and sold with very high THC content. THC is the chemical that gives the user a sense of euphoria, pleasure, and does have pain relief and anti-tumor fighting properties, however, it can cause paranoia and impairment.  CBD is one of the compounds found in marijuana and hemp that contains no intoxicating effects yet retains most of the medical benefits that THC has to offer and then some! Calming anxiety, reducing inflammation and pain, inducing relaxation, stopping seizures, the list goes on!

When we hear the word, “Drug”, we immediately think of intoxication and danger. However, CBD poses no danger. Even in very high dosages, the only reported side-effect was lowered-blood pressure which returned to normal when use was discontinued.

Celebrities such as Michael J Fox, Montel Williams, and Whoopi Goldberg have also publicly endorsed  the use of CBD’s for their own health issues.  Michael J Fox, actor and comedian, stated that CBD was the only thing that reduced his tremors caused by Parkinson’s disease. Montell Williams stated, quote, “Snowboarding and Cannabis saved my life and have helped me combat my disease of Muscular Sclerosis.”

When THC and CBD are ingested in balanced amounts as such found in cannabis strains like, “Harlequin”, the medicinal effects of cannabis are fully realized. However, the Hemp plant, which contains almost no THC, does have a high amount of CBD. CBD by itself is not quite as powerful alone without the other dozen cannabanoids supporting it, which are naturally found in Cannabis, yet it remains extremely beneficially and extremely safe. In my opinion, CBD should be regulated as if it were a vitamin C tablet, to be sold in stores everywhere. Due to it not have any major adverse effects from use or found to be intoxicating in any shape or form, it makes no sense for it to be included in the FDA’s drug schedules.

To read Nalini-Global’s official comment submitted to the Convention on Narcotics, please refer to the information below.

ID: FDA-2017-N-4515-0291 (Docket #)

Tracking Number: 1k1-8y3x-1rgt

Nalini-Global- Official Comment (Click here)  

note: Comment can also be downloaded on our Human Rights Reporting Page

 

If I can be of any additional assistance towards the process or development of this convention, please reply to this correspondence with additional instructions.

Sincerely,

Randell D Stroud

Owner,

Nalini-Global